Mauricio Pochettino continues to work without a set of key players as Chelsea prepare to take on west London rivals Fulham. The Blues have been struggling with injuries for much of the season and now there are suspensions to add into the mix of issues being balanced by the head coach.
Against Brighton in midweek Pochettino turned to an unorthodox backline that included Marc Cucurella at right-back with Axel Disasi and Levi Colwill acting as a new central pairing, Ben Chilwell played his first game of the season at left-back. However, with the expected return of Thiago Silva into the team, there are new questions.
Cucurella, for all his tenacity and unrelenting effort on Wednesday, is yet to play a single minute in the league and is out of the mainstream plans. However, mainstream isn't a word used by Chelsea at the moment and there are very few convincing options otherwise.
Chilwell, who was moved into defence having been used as a makeshift attacker for much of the season so far, finding himself on the bench in the past two league games, isn't fit to play having picked up a hamstring injury late on in the Brighton clash. It could be much worse going forward as well.
«Bad news,» Pochettino said on Friday. «The doctor told me is it is a bad injury but we need to assess in the next few days the period that it is going to be. It doesn't look good. It's difficult to know, the club will communicate.»
Meanwhile Pochettino will have to balance the addition of Silva, who has been instrumental in organising and creating at the back, with the need for mobility. His inclusion in the squad, and most likely the starting XI, will be aided by Moises Caicedo in front of him.The Ecuadorian was seen hobbling at the end of the Carabao Cup clashRead on football.london